Senate agrees to deal to pass omnibus spending bill to keep open government, includes Title 42 vote

The agreement follows Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer saying OK to requiring just 51 votes for the passage of an amendment to the bill to extend Trump White House’s limitations on immigration.

Published: December 22, 2022 10:24am

Updated: December 22, 2022 11:54am

The Senate on Thursday morning reportedly agreed on a deal to pass a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill to keep the government fully operational past Friday.

The agreement follows Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer saying he's reached an agreement on amendments to the spending bill that will result in a final chamber vote Thursday afternoon, then a House vote Friday on the amended spending bill.

Passage of the spending bill reached an impasse earlier this week over an effort by Utah GOP Mike Lee to add an amendment to extend Trump White House limitations on immigration during the pandemic, through a law known as Title 42.

Lee wanted the measure to face a 51-vote threshold in the evenly-divided, 100-member chamber, not 60 votes.

Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema reportedly brokered the deal with an amendment to increase border funding and resources for border communities and extend the decades-old Title 42 health-safety law expedites the deportation of migrants seeking asylum in the U.S., according to The Hill newspaper.

Sinema’s amendment could allow centrist Democrats to vote against Lee's that attempts to cut Department of Homeland Security Secretary funding if the Biden administration deactivates the use of Title 42.

It's was unlike the Democrat-controlled House would have passed the spending bill with Lee's amendment attached.

Schumer said on the floor that senators and staff had worked until 2 a.m. to work out a deal on amendments but failed to reach one.  

In announcing the deal with Republicans, Schumer said the chamber will vote on a block of 15 amendments, to give the Senate a chance to pass the omnibus spending bill later in the day.  

The block includes Lee’s proposal and Sinema’s side-by-side amendment that is reportedly co-sponsored by Montana GOP Sen. Jon Tester.  

"We have an agreement now," said Schumer, The Hill also reports. "We will vote on all of the amendments in order and then vote on final passage. It’s taken a while,  but it is worth it and I appreciate the cooperation of everyone here."

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